On my 30th birthday I had gone for a haircut. I walked all the way from my home to the saloon in town on foot. I was conscious and in my right sense I guess. But I was somewhat oblivious of the things and the people whom I came across because my mind was somewhere else. It was my birthday but I was not at all in a celebratory mood. Rather it was a day which was downright depressing and melancholy. I felt this way because I felt that I had lived the best years of my life and that life would never be the same for me again as I crossed the 30 years mark. Yes, I felt that the best years of my life were already behind me and that nothing much exciting or fulfilling may come my way anymore.
During that time I was unmarried, did not have a secure income and still continued to be a liability to my near and dear ones rather than being an asset. As I sat there in the saloon and had my hair cut I pondered over my life and thought that many things which I dreamed to accomplish in my life had not happened. As I had my haircut and walked back on foot to my home I was in the same depressing and pensive mood. I guess I must have walked passed people whom I knew that day without even bothering to wish or greet them because my mind was certainly not with my body. I was in a different world because it was my 30th birthday and I thought I had lived the best years of my life without doing or accomplishing anything worthy in life.
But now as I look back over my life today, I realize how wrong I was. I realize now that the best years of my life were not behind me but ahead of me. Now I realize that age is just a number and that every day is a gift from God. I realize now that every day is unique, special and irreplaceable. I realize now that we should add life to years and not years to life. When I turned 30, I thought I had lived the best, the most exciting and vibrant years of my life. But now as I look back, I find that the years which I lived after my 30th birthday were even better, more exciting and memorable than the preceding years. It was after I turned 30 that I was able to purchase a car with my own savings without borrowing from anyone. It was after I turned 30 that I met the lovely woman who would become my wife. It was after I turned 30 that I became a father to a beautiful daughter and an adorable son. It was after I turned 30 that God blessed me with a new house and helped me to find greater purpose, fulfillment and satisfaction in everything I do.
As things stand today I do not lack anything. I have everything that I need to live a long, happy, purposeful and meaningful life. Today I do not consider myself a victim anymore but I consider myself as a victor. I hold no grudges against anyone. Long time back I had made a commitment to myself that I would not make ‘complaining’ and ‘blaming’ a part of my life and I still steadfastly hold on to those promises. Today I believe that God is in complete control of my life and that God is a good God who wants to mould and shape me through trials and tribulations. Like iron sharpens iron, I believe that I am constantly growing through every adversity, every trouble and every unforeseen interruption that come my way. Today I no longer run away from adversities and troubles because I see that God has a way to bring good out of even troubles and adversities.
Yes, I am not perfect yet. There are still many areas where I have to come up and meet my own expectations and the expectations of others. Human beings usually stop growing physically after the age of 20. But even after we stop growing physically, I believe we need to be growing mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It should be the effort of every individual to be growing always in one area or the other. As is rightly said “the moment you stop learning or growing you stop living”. Five years from now, none of us should be where we are today because I believe that God is a progressive God and He wants to prosper us and take us ahead constantly.
Along life’s journey, I have also learnt to be more realistic and practical. From my earliest years as a kid, I had heard about people struggling with diabetes and cancer. But for many years I lived as though diabetes and cancer were something which happen only in other families and to other people. I never thought that it could happen within my family and to my near and dear ones. But after some of my beloved ones have had close encounters with these, I now realize that life can be very cruel at times and that I may never know what life will throw at me in the near or distant future. Therefore I believe I have to be on guard all the time and relish every moment and every opportunity I have ‘now’ because ‘now‘is the only time I have.
Yesterday is gone and will never come again and I do not know what tomorrow holds for me. Therefore it is today which I want to relish and enjoy. It is today that I can make a difference in my own life and in the lives of others. I want to spend as much time as possible with my children because I know one day they will go their own way along life’s journey.
We human beings have a tendency of making a big deal about things which are not a big deal. There are times when we are consumed and overwhelmed by certain things and circumstances and we feel drained and exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. But when we think rationally with a cool head, most of these things do not even matter in the big picture. Therefore I have made a commitment to myself not to make a big deal out of things that are not a big deal. I also have come to realize the power of the words that come out of our mouths and that our words ultimately become our reality. In other words, we become what we say. My words have the power to build people up and to tear them down. And so I want to use my words to bless and build up people and not to tear them down.
Along my life’s journey, I have also learnt that no matter what I do I cannot please everybody. Now I realize that ‘the person who tries to please everybody pleases none’. Now I also know that everybody is not going to be for me and that everybody is not going to celebrate me. And that is absolutely fine with me. I do not need to turn left and right and see what is going on around me. I just have to run my own race. If, along the way, people help and guide me I will always be grateful but even if they do not help I know that God has given me the power to know and learn things on my own. Naturally I was sad, disappointed and thwarted when people whom I trusted and looked up to refused to lend me a helping hand. But now I want to say a big “Thank You” to all the people who said “No” to me because it was because of them that I learnt to do things alone on my own.
Yes, death is the ultimately reality that we will all face sooner or later. But now I believe that the things which I have learnt along life’s journey must certainly have an eternal worth and may not just be allowed to rot in the dust with my mortal being even after I die. And the way I live, the things I do and the words I speak are influencing and touching people around me in one way or the other. Yes, I would be kidding myself if I say that it is my life and no matter what I do with my life it is not going to affect anybody. No, I do not wish to live such a life of pretence and denial. I believe we have been put here for a purpose, to make a difference and leave behind things that will have eternal worth. Yes, no matter how trivial and insignificant my life may seem, I believe the Creator has destined me to leave my mark on this generation… and so, I will do my best not to disappoint Him, so that I will not be ashamed when I finally meet Him…